Improving yields through variety selection and targeted agronomy is the focus of a open day in Bodmin on June 28.

At Hutchinsons St Mabyn’s Regional Technology Centre Open Day there will be a host of demonstrations on four main topics, including the latest winter wheat, barley and spring barley varieties, soil health, precision farming and biological components of yield.

The site features treated and untreated comparisons of a wide range of new and existing varieties, providing a great opportunity to evaluate agronomic performance under local conditions and soil type, says Hutchinsons trials manager Bob Bulmer.

“Variety choice is a major decision, but with the issues around fungicides and evolving disease resistance, there’s increasing focus on using genetics to ease crop management. This is an ideal chance to see how varieties perform in the south west.”

“We will be in a position to share the findings from our trials into spring barley growth promotors and growth regulators – this should give us a better idea on how to adopt a fully integrated approach to nutrition and growth regulation.”

Agronomist Amie Hunter asid: We will also be running our local BYDV trial – fully replicated comparing various treatment programmes both with and without Deter seed treatments. BYDV can be a major problem in the southwest and with the impending loss of Deter this trial should give us some useful information on how to manage the situation going forward.”

Ms Hunter is also running an additional fully replicated local trial looking at the interaction between plant nutrition, fungicide use and plant health, incorporating both current and near to market fungicides.

There will be chance to hear how plant and ear numbers can be manipulated to improve yields, drawing on research from the Yield Enhancement Network project.

Detailed information on crop development (such as plant and tiller counts), disease resistance and plant and soil nutrient levels has been collected at St Mabyn and will be explained at the demonstrations.

Local farmers are invited to come and have a look round this trials site on Thursday June 28 11am – 3pm. Email to book a place.